First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

Visioning Workshop Notes 02-22-15

First Jefferson Visioning Cottage Meeting Notes
February 22, 2015
Jaggers Parlor
Facilitators: Tina Harmuth, Lewis Morris
Present: Sheryl Abrahams (recorder), David Winkowski, Charlotte Bailey, Ken Sambell, Jeffrey Yan, Della Purdin, Joel Bailey, Connie Nolen, Nikolas Cash, Emma Cox, Paulette Holland, Brian Cox, Miranda Bruttell, Lauren Cox, Tasha Morris, Jule Cecil, Jaden Cox, Bill Maginnis, Rev. Jennifer Innis

1. Opening and Chalice Lighting
2. Tina Harmuth provided a description of the Visioning process thus far, including the January 24 Visioning Workshop, and two cottage meetings on Feb. 1 and 8.
3. Transcendent Values: Lewis explained the notion of transcendent values, and presented the following graphic created by Wilfred Cantwell Smith, which deals with how we move from the individual “me” to the collective “we” of our congregation, through the experience of our transcendent values.



Faith Development
Beloved Community






Rev. Jennifer Innis clarified that worship, witness, faith development and beloved community are ways that we manifest our transcendent values and the move from me to we. Group members reflected individually on the question: “What first brought you to First Jefferson, and what kept you here?”, and then shared answers with the group. Lewis noted that what many of the responses had in common is a description of moving from the me to the we after coming to the church, i.e., arriving as individuals but becoming part of the congregation. The transcendent words that we identified during the January 24 Visioning Workshop (Hope, Joy, Awe and Connection) can only be achieved as we move from the me to the we.

A sample of quotes about the church included:
-The church is “An amazing place to be… we make everyone here feel safe, and welcome, and loved.”- MB
-“I can’t be more proud of this church family and the direction that it’s taken.”- LM

Lewis and Tina clarified that the four transcendent values identified at the Visioning Workshop had been arrived at after a very robust collaborative process. One participant suggested adding “love” to the list. Tina made the point that we need to honor the outcome of the process and work with the words that we have.

4. Discussion of Personal 50-Year Visions
The group discussed the idea of having a 50-year vision statement as compelling as “Standing on the Side of Love”, one that people would automatically associate with FJUUC.

visioning-roadRev. Jennifer produced the following graphic, to illustrate that the vision is our horizon, the mission is the road to get there, the strategic plan is a 5-year increment on that road, and the covenant is how we promise to be with one another along the way.

Participants brainstormed individually on their personal 50-year visions for the church, and then shared these visions as a group.

50-Year Visions for First Jefferson UU Church:
-Continued social justice work
-Active youth community and youth ministries
-Youth choir
-Resources and classes for the greater community, eg., yoga classes, community garden, etc.
-“Living the life of peace” is what comes to mind when people think of FJUUC
-Large music program
-All-ages integrated worship
-More students in RE program
-Appealing to young families and youth
-A loved and loving congregation
-Mutual respect
-Setting an example for accepting different viewpoints
-Protecting diversity of views both outside of and within our church
-Protecting the vulnerable members of our society
-More diversity
-Larger membership (clarification that this means more commitment to UUism, greater witness, more work for the common good, and demonstration that we are accomplishing our goal of being welcoming. NC notes “The broader the base, the higher the point of freedom.”)
-Financially sound
-Influential in the community
-Be a member of community organizations and evangelize/ connect through witness to more groups of people
-Feeding the homeless/ ministering to the homeless
-Greater prevalence of UUism in our community
-Other religions becoming more UU-like through absorption of UU values
-Share our UU message with other faiths
-Share the message of theological diversity
-Active in hands-on social justice work
-Work collaboratively with others of different faiths to help those in need
-24/7 live answering service available for community needs, able to answer questions about the church and refer to services
-Place of personal growth, where people can find the strength to be their true selves
-Place for people to find resilience in their authentic selves
-Ability to articulate our beliefs through our diversity
-Prepares, encourages and supports individual lay ministry
-Systematically addresses issues of race and class
-Puts more value on how many people are served by the congregation than on how many people are on the membership rolls
-Place to challenge one’s own beliefs
-Conscience of our community (moral compass)
-Personal witness to the meaning of UUism
-Secure, stewarded facility- all are safe and secure while we’re here
-Atmosphere free of judgment on appearances

CB offered a vision of our transcendent values: “To build connection joyfully, offer hope through service, and celebrate the transcendent that moves us to awe.”

5. Closing: Tina asks participants to continue having conversations with others from the congregation, outside of these cottage meetings. Tina will provide a page at the 3/1 potluck for more members and friends to write out their responses to the 50-year vision question. Closing words and extinguishing chalice.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 October 2017 13:24

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